cover image Bein' with You This Way

Bein' with You This Way

W. Nikola-Lisa. Lee & Low Books, $17.95 (1pp) ISBN 978-1-880000-05-2

In an urban park, a friendly African American girl urges her young playmates to snap their fingers, tap their toes and sing along with her. Syncopated with a rap-like rhythm, her cumulative song illuminates the various physical dissimilarities among the people in the park--and comes to an expected conclusion: ``Light skin. Dark skin. Long legs. Short legs. Thick arms. Thin arms. Brown eyes. Blue eyes. Big nose. Little nose. Straight hair. Curly hair. Different-- Mm-mmm , but the same, Ah-ha! Now isn't it delightful, simply out-of-sightful, bein' with you this way!'' Words give way to alliterative sounds on the concluding spreads (``Be-bop-a-doo-bop. Be-bop-boo . . .'') and the verse's tempo accelerates as the child and her friends dance in a line and play leapfrog. Even more than Nikola-Lisa's ( Night Is Coming ; Storm ) bouncy, well-intentioned text, Bryant's full-page, ginger-toned watercolor and colored-pencil illustrations give the book its buoyancy and warmth. Ages 2-8. (Mar.)